From Field to Forum

Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, March 30, 2015 on policy

UC Berkeley researchers need farmers for a study on diversified farming systems in California’s Central Coast. The project will look at how agricultural practices on organic farms affect the diversity of life found on those farms, with an emphasis on birds and pollinators. The study needs farmer participants who grow organic strawberries on two acres or more of land in Santa Cruz, Watsonville, Prunedale and Salinas. Benefits of cooperating on the project include:  Access to research results about your own farm and all participating farms collectively (with complete anonymity) that can inform...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, March 30, 2015 on NOSB, policy

The April 7, 2015 deadline to submit comments to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) is fast approaching! At the end of April, the NOSB will meet in La Jolla, California to review organic materials and standards. During this meeting they will review a substantial amount of materials, including copper and sulfur products for use in crop production, and gums and pectin for processing. Your operation may be affected! There are two simple things you can do to help protect the integrity of organic standards: 1) Complete OTA’s Online Surveys CCOF is working closely with the Organic Trade...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, March 30, 2015 on genetic engineering, policy

The deadline for comment has been extended to May 11, 2015. The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) is soliciting comments on a set of proposed activities to reduce the impacts of the unintended presence of genetically modified (GM) genes in organic and other non-GM crops. One of the activities is the federal organic farmer survey currently circulating, which is gathering information on economic losses experienced by organic farmers due to the presence of GM material in their crops. The timeline for comment is quite short; they are due April 10, 2015. To submit a comment, visit regulations.gov...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, March 30, 2015 on certification process, cost share, policy

Certification cost share is a program that reimburses organic operations 75% of eligible certification-related costs up to a maximum of $750 per certified scope. Certification cost share is now open in the state of California and will be in other states soon. CCOF is preparing helpful instruction documents and tools to help you navigate the cost share forms. Look for them by May 1! Certification cost share helps keep organic certification accessible for all, from the smallest to largest organic operations. Cost share distributes federal funds through state departments of agriculture. Click...
Written by Jon Knapp on Monday, March 30, 2015 on education, genetic engineering, Non-GMO & More seal

As the nation’s leading organic certifier, CCOF has been at the leading edge of organic initiatives and programmatic innovation. In that spirit of innovation, we’re working behind the scenes to ensure organic grows and thrives in the food industry. So far, 2015 has been an extremely busy and productive year for us. This year we have already seen the second installment of the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund to support the next generation of organic farmers. We held a wildly successful Policy Day where certified members were able to sit across from elected officials and inform them of organic...
Written by Jessy Beckett Parr on Monday, March 30, 2015 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, grants

The CCOF Foundation is excited to re-open applications for the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund in 2015. Partnering again with the California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom and the National FFA (Future Farmers of America), as well as hosting our own granting process, the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund will be doubling our grants this year, giving away a total of $100,000 in 2015! Twenty $2,500 grants will go to support people looking to attend programs in higher and vocational education programs focusing on organic agriculture. We are excited to support more people in their...
Written by Tami Weiss on Monday, March 23, 2015 on CCOF, events, genetic engineering


Over 2,700 companies exhibited at this year’s Natural Products Expo West. CCOF-certified members were well represented. For instance, on the main floor you could start the morning off with some tea from Traditional Medicinals, wander over to the Lundberg booth for rice cakes, stop at Straus for some cheese to put on that rice cake, wash everything down with a new yerba mate drink from Guayaki, and finish up with one of the new flavors of Three Twins ice cream. Those were just the companies close to the CCOF booth! Happy Family, 18 Rabbits, Valley Fig Growers, Hilary’s Eat Well, Otis...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, March 16, 2015 on NOP, NOSB, policy, regulatory

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) recently announced its draft agenda for the spring 2015 National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting to be held in La Jolla, California at the end of April. That means it’s that time of year again! Time for you to share your story and help determine the path of organic agriculture. Prior to the meeting, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) invites the public to comment on what should be included and excluded in the organic standards. The NOSB—a committee of certified organic farmers, processors, and other...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, March 9, 2015 on CalCAN, events

The 4th California Climate & Agriculture Summit On March 24 & 25, the 4th California Climate & Agriculture Summit will take place in Davis, CA. The Summit is organized by California Climate & Agriculture Network (CalCAN), a coalition of the state’s leading sustainable agriculture organizations and farmer allies that came together out of climate change concerns. They mainly focus on climate change impacts on California agriculture and methods to advance sustainable agricultural solutions to a changing climate. At the Summit, you will learn the latest science, policy, and...
Written by Laura McKissack on Monday, March 2, 2015 on CCOF, employment

CCOF Certification Services, LLC (CCOF) is seeking various certification staff to work in the Santa Cruz, California office. The people in these positions will work within CCOF’s rapidly expanding USDA National Organic Program and internationally accredited organic certification program. CCOF is one of the oldest and largest organic certification organizations in the U.S. and works to promote organic production through certification, education, and outreach programs. Our staff enjoys many benefits that make CCOF an excellent place to work. Our dog friendly office, proximity to the Pacific...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, March 2, 2015 on policy

Farmers and ranchers have until March 13 to sign up for the largest federal conservation program. The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) rewards farmers and ranchers for conservation and environmental benefits produced from working agricultural lands. Private agricultural land, including crop, pasture, and rangeland, is eligible to enroll. Farmers with CSP contracts may receive payments for activities such as cover crops, rotational grazing, ecologically-based pest management, buffer strips, and the transition to organic farming. CSP is the nation’s largest conservation program by acreage...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, February 23, 2015 on general organic

CCOF strongly encourages all organic farmers to complete the 2014 Organic Survey. In January, the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) mailed out the 2014 Organic Survey to organic farmers throughout the U.S. This is only the second time NASS has conducted this national survey; the last time was in 2008. This survey is critical to organic food and agricultural systems. Government agencies and public officials use the data to improve upon their services and priorities. And organizations like CCOF use the survey results to advocate for effective public policies that support you and...
Written by Laura McKissack on Tuesday, February 17, 2015 on business services, directory

Do you make certified organic products for others or pack your own products under other companies’ labels? If not, would you like to? At CCOF we often hear from companies looking for certified organic co-packers. Some are small startups but others are medium to large companies who want to add an organic product line.CCOF’s online Member Directory is one of the highest visited pages on www.ccof.org and can highlight your services to companies seeking them. You can easily update your listing using the Public Profile tab in your MyCCOF account by:Selecting Co-packing Services under the Sales...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Tuesday, February 17, 2015 on advocacy, CCOF, events, policy


Edmund Gerald "Jerry" Brown, Jr.

On February 11, a dedicated group of individuals came together in Sacramento to represent and advocate on behalf of organic at CCOF’s Policy Day. Over 100 members of the organic community met with elected representatives and public officials to hammer home the message that organic is a significant and growing part of the California and national economy.The dedication and diversity among Policy Day participants was truly inspirational. The list of advocates included some of our longest certified members, new and beginning farmers, interested consumers, and people involved in food and...
Written by Zea Sonnabend on Tuesday, February 17, 2015 on grower, pests and pesticides

The Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP) is spreading throughout California. Organic and non-organic citrus growers are concerned about the spread of ACP because it can spread HuanLongBing (HLB), also known as Citrus Greening disease. This report is an update on activities around detection, quarantine, and control of ACP and HLB.In the last three months, a number of new ACP finds in new counties are causing quarantined areas to expand rapidly. New quarantines exist in Madera, Fresno, and Santa Clara counties where recent finds have indicated breeding populations of ACP. View the statewide map and...

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